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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2021

Degree Type


Degree Name



Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Mumtaz A. Usmen


Safety training is the cornerstone in creating a safer working environment. However, in the construction industry, traditional safety training delivery methods face limitations in representing real-world Jobsite hazards adequately. To address this gap, adopting interactive technology applications such as Interactive Safety Training Applications (ISTA) – an application that uses mixed reality (MR), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and 3D modeling components— is proposed and its effectiveness as a sophisticated, immersive and interactable information conveying tool is analyzed in this study. This thesis is intended to serve as a feasibility study on the industry’s insights regarding factors that affect the adoption and effective implementation of ISTA for the construction Industry. Through conducting a literature review, distribution of a survey questionnaire, and statistical data analysis, this study analyzes the current state of construction safety training methods and how adopting Interactive Safety Training Applications (ISTA) can be effective in improving trainees’ ability of understanding information and retaining safety knowledge. The study’s objectives are to (1) review and address factors influencing adoption of ISTA for the construction industry and its effectiveness in improving trainees’ ability to understand information and retaining safety knowledge; (2) identify and gain insights into key contributing factors; (3) establish, evaluate, and characterize the relationships/associations between various influencing factors; and (4) propose approaches for improving on constraining factors and recommend further research. An opinion survey was designed and distributed to industry experts including project managers, safety managers, technology/innovation managers, and trainers/instructors. To analyze the collected data, two dependent variables and multiple independent variables were constructed for statistical analysis. Univariate frequency and crosstabulation (multivariate) analyses were performed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). It has been reiterated in this study that conventional safety training practices face limitations in representing high-risk hazards and stimulating trainees’ interest in learning. Introducing interactive learning through state-of-the-art immersive and interactive devices such as HMDs may help trainees with better visualization of high-risk hazards and improve learning the contents of safety training while increasing the effectiveness and speed of training delivery. Based on the significance of association (p-value), it was also observed that (1) benefits of ISTA adoption and implementation are clear and impactful; (2) ISTA improves understanding and retention of knowledge with increased training effectiveness; (3) ISTA interoperability with other devices/systems is important in integrating hardware/software implementation; and (4) interactive technology knowledge and skills, as well as (5) limitations of traditional safety training methods are factors important to ISTA adoption and effectiveness in the construction industry. Study respondents also identified (1) low availability of HMDs and wearable technologies, (2) number of employees/trainees too small (not cost-effective), (3) number of employees/trainees too large (practical limitations), (4) lack of personnel experience and expertise in interactive technology, (5) high upfront cost of interactive technology, (6) limited computer literacy levels of workers, and (7) workers’ lack of concern for safety, workers’ insufficient safety awareness, and failure to provide inadequate safety training and safe practices as barriers to the adoption and effective implementation of ISTAs. In terms of additional findings, to date, most respondents partook in safety training via in-class or online lectures while a few partook in ISTA-based training sessions, which have been quite limited in number. Most respondents recognized the great potential of ISTA to effectively transfer safety knowledge to construction students and trainees. It was also observed that safety managers and technology managers tended to express stronger support for adopting and implementing ISTA. Respondents also considered ISTA to be beneficial for improving visualization of the content presented in safety training, enhancing hazard awareness and identification, raising interest in learning, and increasing the speed/efficiency of training delivery. Overall, this study concluded that industry experts have a positive perspective/disposition towards the benefits of adopting ISTA and believe that it has the potential to improve the effectiveness of safety training in construction. Additional investigations are needed into how large numbers of employees can be trained efficiently using this technology. A cost-benefit analysis is needed to determine how the relevant devices can be more widely available and accessible for organizations, especially for small companies. Further studies are recommended into the practical implementation of interactive technology on a wider scale in construction safety training programs.

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